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June 28, 2022

#DCYOIBERIA Day 2: Music Under the Stars

Today was our day to really soak up lovely Lisbon in all its glory. We started with a walking tour of the Belém, a district of the capital city that is home to some of Portugal’s most iconic sites.

Our first stop was the Tower of Belém, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the early 16th century to protect the global maritime trade hub of Lisbon. We then walked along the beautiful waterfront to see the dramatic Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries). Originally erected in temporary form as part of the 1940 Portuguese World Exhibition, it was reconstructed in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator. Our last stop was the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, another UNESCO World Heritage site that is one of the greatest examples of classic Manueline architecture and took the entire 16th century to finish building.

In the evening, we made our way to the Ruínas do Camo, the site of a 14th century convent that was almost completely destroyed by the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake and is now home to the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo. Here we performed our first concert of the tour as part of the Lisbon International Youth Music Festival. We were honored to perform as one of the featured ensembles in the festival’s return after two years of pandemic delays. Our musicians played their hearts out to a crowd of over 250 attendees who enjoyed a program of works by Antonin Dvořák, Kerwin Young, Aaron Copland, and Giuseppe Verdi under a cloudless night sky. We couldn’t have asked for better weather in a more gorgeous setting for the evening’s outdoor concert, and can’t wait to continue our tour in Spain this week.